There’s still plenty to break down from season 7 of Bachelor in Paradise before a new group heads to Mexico for season 8. Jessenia Cruz is sharing her side of the story after she was caught up in a love triangle with Chris Conran and Alana Milne.
Prior to filming the summer 2021 season, Jessenia, Chris and Alana met up with a group of Bachelor and Bachelorette alums for a trip to San Diego.
“I’m very aware of other people’s recollections of what happened in San Diego,” Jessenia began on Us Weekly’s Here for the Right Reasons” podcast, referring to the couple insisting nothing happened between them on the California trip. “When I went, I thought, ‘OK, well I wanna kind of conduct myself in a way that, you know, is a great first impression.’ And everyone pretty much did the same thing I would like to say, but I think there were small moments that I feel are conveniently being left out solely because I can say, for a fact, I remember everything that happened in San Diego. I was never once blackout drunk. … It’s not to say that everybody else was trashed either, but there’s certain things that happened that people are speaking on, but they’re not really divulging in the full details. Like, I know for a fact that I saw Alana sitting in the jacuzzi with Chris on her lap.”
On the show, which began production weeks after their trip, Chris and Jessenia connected and went on a date. According to the Texas native, she questioned Chris about whether he was waiting for Alana to come down the beach before moving forward with their romance.
“He said no. [He said], like, ‘I came here for you and I really just wanted to spend some time with you here in Paradise.’ Well, the way [Chris] said it was more like, ‘I wanna spend time here in Paradise.’ And then everything about me kind of came after that,” she quipped. “I was, like, that’s a second priority. I’m coming at this whole [situation] as lightly as I can because I’ve personally moved on from the whole situation, but I think it’s been very difficult to look away when you have two people who are constantly kind of like continuing this narrative, that just isn’t true, you know?”
When Alana did arrive in Mexico, however, Chris quickly developed feelings for her and they went on a date. Amid allegations that they pre-planned their relationship, which they denied, they were ostracized from the group and left the show early. One thing in particular that Jessenia also feels has been misrepresented is Chris and Alana claiming on the April 20 episode of “Here for the Right Reasons” that no one apologized to them for making them leave the beach.
“I did, in fact, apologize to Alana,” Jessenia told Us. “I gave it a couple days [after the episodes aired] and I reached out to her and I said, you know, ‘I wanted to give you some space, but I wanted to come to you and tell you that, genuinely, I’m so sorry for how things ended up in Paradise. And then when I think about what I would do differently, I wouldn’t have cut you off’ — because I cut her off. And I told her, ‘Honestly, I’m so embarrassed by that specifically because you deserve to speak.’ And I think I was so clouded with my emotions, which is it’s hard to deal with when you feel hurt, when you feel lied to, that I just allow that to control me versus trying to be as centered as possible.”
Jessenia told Us that Alana “acknowledged the apology” at the time.
“The conversation went on and I started to put the pieces together that we had very different recollections of San Diego and it started to even become a concern because I felt as though I was being made to feel as though I should question my reality.” she continued. “And that’s when things really started becoming a problem for me to the point where I even reached out to, you know, a member of production to help me navigate this. And they just told me don’t interact and that’s exactly what I did. So I had blocked them on social, [their] numbers and everything and just hadn’t spoken to them up until I saw that interview [on the ‘Here for the Right Reasons’ podcast]. And then I unblocked Alana, sent her [a screenshot of my apology], which delivered. So I think she blocked me after I texted her. I just left it at that. I never waited for a response for her either.”
Jessenia explained that when she reached out to Alana last month, she told her that she “did not want to argue with her” about something that happened a year ago.
“It’s done and I get if you’re hurt, that’s fair, but don’t drag my name around the dirt along with it,” she said. “I don’t understand why this is what you’re choosing to do, but at least be honest about this. All I asked was honesty from Chris’ part, which he never gave me, so at least be honest about whether or not you received an apology.”
For more from Jessenia, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.